Title- Pinned up 7-Up
14 x 14", acrylic on gessoed aluminium panel
painting #291, 2021
7-Up was created in St Louis, Mo by Charles Leiper Grigg in 1929. The lemon-lime soft drink was initially called "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda". The formulation much like many soft drinks that were often developed by pharmacists during the late-19th and early-20th century contained a drug, in this case the mood stabilizer Lithium that is often prescribed for bi-polar disorder. It was removed from its formulation in 1948. The name was changed to 7-Up in 1936, the same year the slogan "You Like It, It Likes You" was adopted and remained in use until the mid-1970's. There are several theories behind the origin of the name. I like the claim that 7-Up was bottled in a 7oz bottle while many other soft drinks like Coca-Cola were available in 6oz bottles. In 1961, Coca-Cola would introduce Sprite to its product line as a direct competitor to 7-Up. In 1967, sales for the product rose when it adopted the ad campaign of being an "Uncola".
Some time back, while in a store aisle, I spotted this dart board. The first thing that came to mind was a thought of Jasper John's "Target" paintings. I bought it as a prospect prop. It wasn't until this summer that I noticed that the colors of the vintage 7-Up bottle and the dart board were exactly the same. The positioning of the bottle with the board creates a sort of Japanese Rising Sun imagery with the bullseye. The logo and design concepts for the bottle has changed with the passage of time, always trying to stay current. I find this specific bottle to be the most iconic, maybe it's because it was the one in use while I was growing up.
This painting will be part of a small solo show entitled "Art-ifacts", hosted by the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB from October 14 to November 5, 2021. Unfortunately, in order for the gallery to remain open during the pandemic while keeping everybody safe, the gallery director and I came to the decision that it was safer not to hold an opening reception. The public however will be able to visit the gallery at their leisure during the run of the exhibition.
The gallery will be open on Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 5 pm or by appointment.
The exhibition can be viewed online from the Fog Forest Gallery website at this LINK.
Update- November 15, 2021
I've decided to reframe this painting from it's initial black frame with round mat opening under glass. The aluminium panel has been mounted on a wood support and is now presented in a black floater wood frame.